In the last issue of Inner IDEA Body-Mind-Spirit Review, we asked "Do you think Pilates is inherently therapeutic or should a rehabilitative aspect be specialized? Here’s what you had to say.
“This is a question I’ve worked on in my head and with my clients over the 19 years I have been in the Pilates field. In the beginning, as I was learning the basic exercises, I found them quite effective for my own personal awareness, strength building, and toning. However, the more I taught, the more I found the need to dig deeper into the physiological connections of the movements. I also found that many clients required different approaches in order to understand and benefit more profoundly from even the traditional exercises. Certainly they could benefit just from performing the standard repertoire (with some modifications for different ages and ability). That fact underscored the theory that Pilates is inherently therapeutic. Yet, because each client has a unique body (not to mention mental and emotional approaches to exercise and learning), I have found tremendous success utilizing a wide variety of specialized, modified and traditional Pilates exercises whether on the mat or any of the equipment.
“When a client connects or discovers personal success with a particular modification, whether it be just for that day or in general, they tend to respond much more readily to the remainder of the session. This element of personalization and its success with the individual has certainly led me to be a champion of specialized rehabilitation approaches to the Pilates work, particularly when working on a one-to-one basis. Overall, I believe it is the better approach, but feel that people can definitely gain improvement just by performing the traditional exercises at the level they are ready for, especially if they are fairly fit and have good body awareness.”
— Marcia Kellam, Oakland, California
“To a certain extent, I believe that Pilates does improve back pain and posture when people are learning to access and use their cores in everyday life. But I also believe there is a place for Pilates to become specialty rehabilitation.
“One of my colleagues is an osteopathic doctor who does manipulation. She is also a Pilates instructor and specializes in private sessions for clients who have severe spinal/movement challenges, including post-surgery, fused vertebrae and neck compression issues. She combines her manipulation skills with basic, modified Pilates principles on the cadillac and reformer to help her clients achieve greater function. I have learned so much from watching her work with clients and also from having her work on my body (and I am a Pilates instructor with a ballet and modern dance background). Her knowledge of the human body and how it moves is phenomenal and not something a ‘normal’ Pilates instructor would know. From my experience, there seem to be a lot of people in our ranks who need this type of treatment.”
— Cathy Koraska, Dallas, Texas